By Alex Oh
Three years ago, I was looking to become more active in the community, meet new people, and experience something new— something unlike anything I had ever done before. I happened to learn about the Teen Advisory Committee (TAC) through friends of siblings who were on the TAC at the time, and they convinced me to apply. I was unsure about it as I did not feel I was experienced enough. However, I still applied and joined in my sophomore year of high school. Since then, I have made countless friends, had unbelievable
experiences, and learned an incredible amount about our community, but most importantly, about others around me.
One of the primary responsibilities of the TAC is to assist at River Hill Village events including Haunted Hallow’s Eve, Breakfast with Santa, Searching for Spring, and a TAC sponsored event of our choice. Each of these events brings to mind special memories from setting up each event with fellow TAC members to seeing each child smile as they collected eggs or told Santa their wish list. I have always been a relatively positive and happy person, but here, I learned something even more important about myself: I love sharing this happiness with others. Through our events, I learned that I CAN make a difference in the lives of others by brightening up their day and making the community a happier place to live. Knowing that I can impact peoples’ lives in this way always brings me joy, and every smile I see inspires me to keep trying to make our community a brighter place.
This past year, I was one of the two Student Members of the Board of Directors. As part of the Student Member Committee, Shyam Pillai and I were responsible for planning and leading TAC meetings and attending and participating in Village Board meetings. Although this year has been significantly different due to the ongoing pandemic, I have learned even more about our community through Board meetings and having a voice on the Board. From learning about the Village budget/expenses to being more aware about resident concerns to even addressing local issues, my experience on the Board has allowed me to become more aware of the world around me, specifically the “adult” world. I have learned plenty from specific instances at Board meetings, however as a whole, I learned something much more important than any piece of knowledge: I learned about how different backgrounds and experiences shape opinion. Each Board member has important value, and learning about others’ passions has allowed me to gain new perspectives, which will allow me to connect with even larger communities, maybe even outside of River Hill.
Local students entering grades 9-12 are eligible to apply to the Teen Advisory Committee and students entering grades 11-12 are eligible to apply for the Student Member Committee. So, you may be wondering… “Why should I apply to join the TAC or Student Member Committee?” First of all, you will have countless experiences and friends you will never forget. You will also learn more about your community and world around you. But, most importantly, you can make a difference in the lives of others by making our community a happier place to live.
Applications for the Teen Advisory Committee and the Student Member Committee are below. If returning an application via email, please send it to email@example.com.